After becoming president, I once asked some members of my close protection to walk with me in town for lunch in a restaurant.
We sat in one of the downtown restaurants and all of us asked for food.
After a while, the waiter brought us our requests, I noticed that there is someone sitting at my table waiting for food.
I then said to one of the soldiers: Go and ask this person to join us with his food and eat with us.
The soldier went and asked the man as well. The man raised his food and sat by my side as I asked and started to eat, his hands were shaking constantly until everyone finished eating and the man left.
The soldier said to me:
the man was apparently very ill. His hands were shaking while he ate.
“No, not at all,” said Mandela. “This man was the guard of the prison where I was imprisoned.
Often after the torture I was subjected to, I would cry out and ask for some water.
The same man came every time and urinated on my head instead. . .
So I found him scared and trembling, expecting me to make him do the same, at least in the same way, either by torturing him or by imprisoning him, because I am now the president of the state from South Africa. . .
But it is not my character nor part of my ethics.
The retaliatory mentality destroys states while the tolerance mentality builds nations